Everything is available to you
Updated: Jan 3, 2021
I have always said that I want to suck the marrow out of life. And in my younger days that was manifest in fantasies of travelling the world, and then settling into a loving relationship and popping out three children, with some meaningful work (saving the world) on the side.
I still remember those dreaming days of my twenties, where I'd sit for hours in the morning listening to Anthony Robbins telling me how I could do and be anything. And then I'd make lists of all the things I'd be achieving and by when. I still have some of those lists and yes, I did tick some things off. But most lie as ink on the paper of youthful desires, unchecked by the realities of the world. What a wonderful time that was.
And then you have to get a real job. And the job doesn't turn out quite as you'd planned. You're asked to make photocopies and sort the post and you really thought you were worth more than that. You have a degree for God's sake. But you suck it up and you work hard, and you learn, and you figure out how to impress your way up. And some of it is fun, and some of it sucks, but it's OK because you've still got your whole life ahead of you and anything is possible, right? You could still quit your job and backpack through Europe or hop between ashrams in India and find a Guru or blog your way around Africa on a bike. And there are plenty of fish in the sea, love will find you.
But it doesn't, or it does and your heart gets broken and you patch yourself together and you carry on. And at some point, a big beautiful, handcrafted wooden door closes on you and you realise that not everything is possible, and you can't, in fact, have it all. And not only that, that what you can have is all work really. Fucking. Hard. Work. It hurts and you feel incompetent and sometimes you think you are losing the plot entirely and you want to check yourself in somewhere and be fed drugs through a drip and stare out the window at clouds passing by. But you can't. Because then you'd lose your job, or your partner or your kids or everything. So, you get up. And you start your day.
And in all of it, you want to hope. Hope that some things (if not all) are still possible. Hope that you will one day figure out how to stop binge eating chocolate chip cookies when you're feeling low, or that your husband will just wash the fucking dishes without being asked, or that you will feel again the sweet innocence of unbridled joy, without anticipation of another door closing in your face. Because the doors never stop closing, even the big, beautiful hand-crafted wooden one's.
This morning, in the afterglow of an uncharacteristically long meditation, and for the first time in a long time, I became acutely aware of the abundance in the universe. It settled in me as a deep knowing that nothing is unavailable to me. That no matter how many doors close, or what dreams we have to leave behind, or how much death and sorrow pass through our lives, there is still life, this strange, ungraspable always. And in it, grace. Sure, some tangible things and experiences are inaccessible to me. And they may always be. But what is available to me is the capacity to experience joy, to learn, to love, to offer myself in service. To take what is and hope that I can turn it into something more beautiful than it was when I found it, and that life might do the same for me.
And that, to me, is everything.
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